‘Braille Kindle’ developed for the blind

A Kindle-style Braille e-reader for blind and partially sighted people could make reading text and working with graphs easier for millions suffering from sight problems.

Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing a refreshable device that will be capable of displaying pages of the raised bumps, which can be read by touch.

While refreshable Braille displays are already available, they are limited by the amount of text they can display, often to only a single line of text at a time.

The Braille alphabet enables blind and partially sighted people to read by tracing lines of raised bumps with their fingers.

Led by Dr Sile O’Modhrain, an associate professor of information at the University of Michigan, the team are developing a full page refreshable Braille tablet that works much like the e-Ink used in Kindles and other e-reading devices.

They say it will allow people to feel entire pages of text while also helping to display tactile graphs and even graphics.

‘Imagine having a Kindle, that isn’t a visual Kindle, but instead has a tactile surface that can be read by a person who is blind, using Braille,’ explained Dr O’Modhrain.

Current Braille readers are expensive, with cost of a single device running into thousands of pounds and cannot be easily used while on the move.

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